If Ever I Cease To Love
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 02/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"According to Mardi Gras, in 1872 the Grand Duke Alexis Romanoff of Russia was taken to see Lydia Thompson, a popular actress of the day, who was then performing at New Orleans in the show BLUE BEARD. So charmed was he by both Miss Thompson and the nonsense song "If Ever I Cease To Love" that the song was played to him where ever he went--and was performed at the first Rex parade. As such, it became the "royal theme" of New Orleans Carnival, and although now eclipsed in popularity by more bluesy numbers, it is still considered the official song of New Orleans carnival.
And MARDI GRAS IN NEW ORLEANS VOL. 2 is one of the very, very few widely available recordings that include this song, which is performed here with tremendous simplicity and considerable charm by A.J. Loria. That alone would make this collection worth having, but the CD has more going for it. Most of the work here is done by The Meters and the Olympia Brass Band instead of the more celebrated jazz and blues musicians of the Crescent City, but they turn out a memorable "Mardi Gras Mambo" and "They All Asked For You," among others--songs that you really are likely to hear being played all over town during the Carnival season.
Of equal interest is "Iko Iko" by the Dixie Cups, the girl trio that originated in New Orleans and which is best known for the song "Chapel of Love." According to the story, the girls were in a New York recording studio one day waiting to record, and to pass the time they launched into a Mardi Gras Indian chant they had learned from their mother. Their producer was impressed and quickly recorded the piece with a percussion background--and so yet another Mardi Gras classic was born.
Now, MARDI GRAS IN NEW ORLEANS VOL. 2 is hardly an ideal CD--and there are a couple of tracks I could do without--and who wouldn't rather have a longer collection that included Carnival tunes by the likes of Louis Armstrong, Fats Domino, Al Hirt, Pete Fountain and all the rest? But if you are looking for a nice intro to the music of the holiday, the collection will indeed have you doing the second line while you wolf down a king cake from one hand and chug a beer from the other. Recommended.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer"